Samvera Community Participation Sustainability Working Group - Draft

Scope & Objectives

Samvera is a robust partnership community with volunteer contributions forming most of the project work and formally sharing responsibility for its development. They set technical and Community direction; contribute to design and code; organize events; conduct training; help orient new adopters; write documentation; and advance the Community overall. While individual partner contributions are the community's core, we have recognized that sustainability and efficiency are promoted by having dedicated and accountable staff in the form of the Samvera Community Manager, but the community is not currently able to fund a full second FTE to engage in the technology planning and coordination for the community. A lack of participants for the Hyrax tech lead role led to an experiment (currently running) to compensate a person or institution for a 25% time commitment to the project.

This working group will assess the current need for and ability to fill current and future roles in the Samvera community with equity, efficiency, and sustainability to support contributions from everyone and avoid burnout.

Deliverables & Timeframe

This group will assess capacity gaps, what is working well, and the Hyrax Tech Lead funded position experiment for effectiveness and impact on Samvera sustainability, product maintenance, and development coordination and efficiency. The group will deliver recommendations on Specific deliverables that will be outlined in the first meeting.

Key Questions:

  1. Capacity Questions:

    1. What work isn’t getting done because we lack capacity?

    2. What current roles do we have trouble getting contributors for, and why?

    3. What new roles need to be defined to increase the efficiency or effectiveness of the community?

    4. What support is needed for lead role contributors? What can we, as Partners and as a Community, do to make sure these roles are sustainably and consistently filled and that these contributors are supported, recognized for their work, and can step away knowing someone else will be available to fill the role?

  2. Understanding Strategy and Coordination Alignment among Partners and users of Samvera:

    1. How are institutions sustaining and prioritizing their development, community, and technology staff?

    2. How do Samvera community needs align with institutional priorities and willingness to commit staff time?

  3. Samvera Community-paid positions:

    1. Does a Samvera Community-paid position benefit the community's capacity, effectiveness, and overall benefit to the partners?

    2. How has the Hyrax Tech Lead role impacted the community?

    3. How does the Samvera Community-paid model compare to the individual contributor approach especially for more complex roles?

    4. Has it enabled greater efficiency, accountability, or the ability to complete work more effectively?

    5. Does the Samvera Community-paid position impact the potential or current use of Hyrax or Hyrax dependencies?

    6. When is a Samvera-Community funded position more effective than individual contributions?

    7. Does the existence of Samvera Community-compensated work impact institutional willingness to support the Samvera community through individual contributions?

    8. What amount of Samvera Community-paid positions is desired and sustainable? What work should be prioritized for payment?

This group will convene in April 2023 with the goal to present outcomes at Samvera Connect in Fall 2023.


Please add your name if you are interested in joining this proposed working group.

  • @Heather Greer Klein

  • @Kirsten Leonard , facilitator

  • Your name here!


Meeting Times & Communication Channels

Meeting time will be determined in the first meeting.

Slack channel #


Meeting Notes